Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

This soup was yummy! We made it with half and half like the original recipe from 365 Days of Slow Cooking. It was delicious and super creamy but I think it could have been thinner. Considering how much fat this recipe has in it next time we will just add milk. If I ever take it to a soup party I will do it with the half and half though because it is super rich and yummy. Its like spaghetti or pizza in soup form!

2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups milk (half and half if you want it really creamy)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, and basil to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly until smooth. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Baked Oatmeal

Holy Cow! This is SO good. Ive made a few changes but the recipe came from Inspired tastes. It is perfect for a nice breakfast and yet not nearly as fattening as Cinnamon Rolls. Plus its super easy to make and you can get ready while it bakes. Its going to be a staple for Sunday mornings around our house.

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnut pieces, chopped
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ripe banana, peeled, 1/2-inch slices

Preheat oven to 375°F and generously spray the inside of a 10-1/2 by 7 inch baking dish with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, cinnamon, salt, nuts, and chocolate chips. Melt the butter in a large glass measuring bowl. Add milk, egg, and vanilla and whisk together.

Add the oat mixture to prepared baking dish. Add the banana slices to the top then pour the milk mixture over everything. Gently shimmy/shake the baking dish to help the milk mixture go throughout the oats.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown and the milk mixture has set.

I didnt do this step but it sounds yummy:
For an extra tasty top, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of extra brown sugar on top then place back in the oven under the broiler and broil for 20-30 seconds. Serve warm with an extra sprinkle of sugar or drizzle of maple syrup.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chinese Honey Chicken Recipe

I got this recipe off Blog Chef.net. Its really yummy. You can definitely taste the ginger but its not overpowering.

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
Oil

Batter-
4 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg white

Sauce-
1 ½ tablespoons oil
2 teaspoon ginger (minced)
3 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 teaspoon water)
Sesame seeds (for garnish)

In a large bowl mix all batter ingredients together until smooth. Cover and allow the batter to sit for at least 30 minutes. Add the chicken to the batter, toss to coat.

Add oil to frying pan and heat. Fry chicken bits in batches until it is done. Drain on paper towels.

Sauce: Drain pan of oil except 1 1/2 Tbsp. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add salt, honey, vinegar, and water. Mix well. Combine 1 teaspoon of water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Add to the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. When the sauce is thickened and bubbly add the chicken back into the pan and coat with the sauce.

Serve with white rice garnish with sesame seeds.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chicken Gyros

I found this recipe on The Girl who Ate Everything. John loves gyros so I was excited to try this recipe. I tweeked a few things for our tastes (thanks Val!) but they were good! Even our boys ate them! Its best to prepare the sauce and marinade the night before and it makes putting them together a cinch. We used the pitas from Costco.

Pitas
Tomatoes
Red onion, we sauted ours slightly

Tzatziki sauce:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

For the chicken:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon (1 Tablespoon)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips

Directions:
Peel cucumber and remove seeds. Chop in food processor. Wrap in a towel and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend but I think its best overnight.

To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, best overnight.
 
Cook the chicken in a saute pan. I added quite a bit of the marinade I liked it already cut into strips so it had a lot of the marinade flavor.. Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately. 
 

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Yum! Originally from the Picky Palate. The potatoes are to die for!

6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
4 lbs peeled, cubed potatoes
5 Tablespoons real butter
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
6 cloves roasted garlic (directions are below)
1- 1 1/2 Cups warm skim milk (any milk will do, I used skim)
1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stove top over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, Parmesan, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Season to taste if needed. For thinner mashed potatoes add more milk, slowly until your desired consistency.

Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot.

Roasted Garlic
I do this the cheater way because I know I will never remember an hour before. Add 2-3 cloves still in their skins to some water in a saucepan. Boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from skins and they should mash with a fork.

White Queso

I found this recipe on Listen to the Mrs.
  • 1 pound White American Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Jalapeno, pickled ( I added some jalapenos and juice to my magic bullet and pulsed it several times)
Cut the cheese into chunks.  Add the milk and jalapenos and simmer till melted (or microwave, carefully, till smooth).  Enjoy with tortilla chips or over Mexican food! Does great in a little crock pot.

Chicken Parmesan

Yummy and easy. I found this recipe off of Food Wishes. He has a great video tutorial. I made the marinara from our freshly canned tomatoes. So yummy!

2tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
hot red pepper flakes, to taste
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 5, but they were huge!)
2 cups marinara sauce
1/4 cup chopped basil
8 oz mozzarella, shredded
4 oz Parmesan, grated
1 (5-oz) package garlic croutons

Drizzle olive oil, garlic, red pepper into baking dish. Place chicken on top. Add marinara sauce and fresh basil. Add half of the cheese, then top with the croutons. Ours were huge and I should have broken them up a little bit. Next time I think I will lightly crush them. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for about 40 min. I also think next time I will wait 10 to 20 minutes before adding the top cheese because it got a little too done by the time the chicken was done.